A divided Supreme Court said Thursday that Louisiana may not enforce a law that opponents say would close most of the state's abortion clinics and leave it with only one doctor eligible to perform the procedure. The justices may yet consider whether the 2014 law - requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals - unduly burdens a woman's access to abortion. The Louisiana law has never been enforced, and the Supreme Court in 2016 found a nearly identical Texas law to be unconstitutional. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Makes sense.
Texas U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, the former chairman of the tax-writing committee and now its ranking Republican, registered himself "deeply concerned" and accused Democrats of "weaponizing our nation's tax code by targeting political foes." Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Dems are wasting time - fools.
A University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston study found that just 1 in 20 adolescents are meeting national recommendations for sleep, exercise and time in front of a screen. Houston Chronicle


Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is firing back at National Enquirer owner AMI over what he is calling an "extortion and blackmail" attempt by the tabloid. In a lengthy post on Medium Thursday, Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post and is also the world's richest person, details alleged correspondence between the lawyer for his lead investigator, Martin Singer, and Dylan Howard, the chief content officer for AMI. IndyStar
The House Judiciary Committee chairman said late Thursday that a standoff with the acting attorney general had ended in an agreement for Matthew Whitaker to testify publicly Friday, setting up a potentially dramatic confrontation over President Trump and the special counsel investigation into the 2016 campaign. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced on Twitter on Thursday evening that Whitaker "will appear tomorrow morning at 9:30 am," capping a dramatic daylong standoff over whether Whitaker would scrap his appearance entirely over the Democrats' threat to subpoena him. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Dems are looking for political confrontation.
With Sen. Elizabeth Warren once again confronting controversy over her tenuous claims to Native American heritage, activists in early-voting states and national allies are nervously eyeing whether she can succeed in getting past an issue that has shadowed her campaign. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Warren is a liar - simple.
Gov. Ron DeSantis continued Thursday to push for improvements in Florida’s education system, outlining a plan to ease the teacher shortage and eliminate a controversial component of the state’s teacher bonus program. Speaking at Armwood High in Hillsborough County, the new Republican governor pitched a $422 million expansion of the Best & Brightest bonus program and an additional $10 million a year for teacher recruitment. Miami Herald
Police say an American Airlines Pilot has been arrested at Britain’s Manchester Airport on suspicion of being drunk. The Greater Manchester Police force said Friday that police “received a report that an airline pilot may have been under the influence of alcohol” at the airport in northwest England on Thursday morning. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Scary!


Mayor Bill de Blasio, in releasing his preliminary executive budget on Thursday, has ordered agencies to trim spending to make up for a shortfall from personal income tax revenues. Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday that the city projects that it will receive $935 million less in income tax revenue than the previous year — echoing an even larger shortfall in New York State’s budget. New York Times
The U.S. military is preparing to withdraw American forces from Syria by the end of April and a significant portion of them will be out by the middle of March, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former U.S. officials. Rueters
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has found himself at the intersection of the Supreme Court’s conservative and liberal wings. In his first 13 years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s main challenge was trying to assemble five votes to move the court to the right, though there were only four reliably conservative justices. Now he faces a very different problem. With the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and his replacement by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the chief justice has the votes he needs on issues like abortion, racial discrimination, religion and voting. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Roberts is a defector - sad.
Iranians will chant "Death to America" as long as Washington continues its hostile policies, but the slogan is directed at President Donald Trump and U.S. leaders, not the American nation, Iran's supreme leader said on Friday. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Aiming at Trump is the same as aiming at the US.
A Fresno priest is upset that the throw pillow he ordered from Walmart came with unwanted graphics — namely Adolph Hitler's image and a Nazi swastika. San Francisco Gate

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The mayor of Cupertino is being criticized by housing advocates after joking about building a wall around the city during a recent State of the City address. San Francisco Gate
Thousands of employees have experienced delays or anomalies with paychecks at the federal agencies that went dark. Many say they initially received half of what they were owed after working without pay or being furloughed. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Blame the Dems.
A veterinarian student convicted of implanting heroin into the stomachs of puppies to smuggle drugs into the United States has been sentenced to six years in federal prison. Andres Elorez, 39, was arrested in Spain for crimes he committed more than a decade ago and was extradited to the U.S. last year to face trial in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. Elorez, a Spanish national who went to veterinary school in Colombia, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import heroin. ABC


German antitrust authorities have issued a ruling prohibiting Facebook from combining user data from different sources, a decision the company will appeal. Facebook is pushing back against a German ruling that could make it harder for the company to combine data from all the services it runs in order to target ads even more precisely. Thursday's ruling, though aimed at current practices, hints at potential troubles ahead if Facebook follows through with plans to integrate the messaging functions of WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger as early as next year. ABC
VOA VIEW: Facebook should pay much more - the US next.
The firm wrote down the value of its assets leading to a £3.4bn quarterly loss, its biggest to date. The company booked a £3.1bn reduction in the value of its plants and other investments leading to a £3.4bn quarterly loss, its biggest to date. Carmakers are being hit by stronger regulations and demand for cleaner models. Sales for the quarter were £6.2bn, down from £6.3bn a year earlier. It sold 144,602 vehicles, down from 154,447. BBC
While other economies are stronger, America's is no slouch, but it is noticeably slower than just a few months ago. In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump made a big claim about recent economic growth, extolling the U.S. for having "far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world." True, America's economy is strong. But not only is it not the world's hottest -- China, India and a host of other developing nations are growing faster -- it's already significantly cooler than it was just six months ago. CBS
VOA VIEW: Liberal news propaganda.
Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion deal to buy the retailer is expected to save 425 stores and roughly 45,000 jobs. Sears Holdings was granted a new lifeline on Thursday as its sale to Chairman Eddie Lampert, through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments, was approved by a federal bankruptcy court judge. ESL has said the $5.2 billion deal to buy the company will save 425 stores and roughly 45,000 jobs. Judge Robert Drain, of the U.S. CNBC
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has hired officials with experience at the National Security Council to help with its oversight of President Donald Trump's administration, according to a committee aide. The aide declined to say how recently the newly hired officials worked at the council, whether they served under Trump or to identify the individuals. But the move appears to have enraged the President and some members of his senior staff, who view the move as an intrusion. CNN
VOA VIEW: Schiff is an idiot.

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President Donald Trump was less than thrilled last year when his personal physician recommended he get on a diet, start exercising and set a goal of losing a dozen pounds. CNN
Authorities say a 30-year-old Lyft driver kidnapped and raped a woman in suburban New Orleans last month. Authorities say a 30-year-old Lyft driver kidnapped and raped a woman in suburban New Orleans last month. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto says in a Thursday news release that Yousef Hamed (yu-SEF' HAH'-mehd) of Harvey faces charges of second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping. FOX News
Two trucks reach Colombian border town of CúcutaDemonstrators welcome US aid, shouting ‘Maduro out’The first trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela have arrived at the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, as opponents of Nicolás Maduro step up efforts to further isolate the embattled president.The convoy of two large articulated lorries and seven smaller trucks reached the Tienditas international bridge on Thursday, a day after Venezuelan authorities blockaded the crossing with shipping containers and a fuel tanker. Guardian
VOA VIEW: As it should start.

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Jihadist group placed bounty on head of foreign fighter after plot, say intelligence officialsThe Isis leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, survived a coup attempt last month launched by foreign fighters in his eastern Syrian hideout, intelligence officials believe, and the terrorist group has since placed a bounty on the main plotter’s head.The incident is believed to have taken place on 10 January in a village near Hajin in the Euphrates River valley, where the jihadist group is clinging to its last sliver of land. Guardian
Israel exposed on Thursday Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah efforts to build a missile factory in the Syrian town of Safita. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: It will not last long.
A U.S. House of Representatives committee approved a bill on Thursday that would open up the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to antitrust lawsuits, but it was uncertain if the measure would be considered by the full chamber. Reuters
Iran says it has missiles with the range of up to 2,000 km, which puts Israel and US military bases in the region within reach. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: There will be a confrontation.
Accused Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman appeared cheerful as the jury in his U.S. trial ended its first week of deliberations on Thursday without reaching a verdict, grinning broadly as he hugged and bumped fists with his lawyers. Reuters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed complaints against Walgreens and Circle K to stop the sale of tobacco products at two of the stores' locations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration filed complaints against Walgreens and Circle K to stop the sale of tobacco products at two of the stores' locations. The FDA seeks to bar a Walgreens pharmacy in Miami, Fla., and a Circle K convenience store in Charleston, S.C., from selling tobacco products for 30 days. UPI

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